Friday, July 09, 2010

Happiness is .....(41)


Jenny aka Saw Lan with Soh Wah

A precious reunion with my primary school classmate

St. Mary's Hospital near the Novotel London Paddington
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For so many years whenever I passed by my school, Convent Green Lane Primary and Secondary in Penang, I would think of my ex-teachers and classmates. How have they been? Are they married or still single.? Are my ex-teachers still alive and kicking despite their golden years.?

Thanks to Facebook, some of us have found one another, and amongst this small group of classmates, the first to meet me is Jenny who lives in London. When Jenny first wrote to me, I asked her if her Chinese name was Saw Lan. She was surprised at my excellent memory.

I told Jenny I still remember her as a very serious girl who would never hesitate to show her displeasure by knitting her eyebrows, and glaring at the source of her annoyance! Jenny said she still remains the same serious type but is now a much more relaxed and happy lady because she has found Jesus!

After a few attempts to meet, we finally managed to meet each other on the day of our departure at Heathrow Airport. Jenny works with British Airways as an occupational therapist, and it was easy for her to meet us as her office is near Heathrow airport. Soh Wah and I arrived early at the airport, and I was trying to send Jenny a short message on my phone, when lo and behold! there she was standing and smiling beside Soh Wah! Soh Wah first spotted her on her way to the washroom, and instinctively felt that she must be Jenny, and asked, "Are you looking for Choo Choo?"

After her O levels, Jenny left for England to train as a nurse. In those days, jobs were hard to come by, and it was the "in thing" to do nursing in England. I was also accepted to train as a student nurse at St. Mary's Hospital. I told Jenny I was so excited to stumble upon St. Mary's Hospital when Soh Wah and I took the wrong exit out of Paddington Station. The huge hospital was just across the river from Novotel London Paddington where we were staying. It was my eldest sister Lee Lee who stopped me from going to London as she said I was not cut out to be a nurse. Jenny said neither was she cut out to be a nurse, but having been in it, she thought she might as well make the most of it. I guess I would do likewise. I wonder if I had persisted on going to London, would I also end up like Jenny, married to a British? Ah! Ah! Do not get me wrong dear readers. I have been and am extremely contented with my present life, but as a writer, I can't help letting my imagination go astray.

Jenny showed Soh Wah and me beautiful photos of her daughter and two sons. Her children are extremly good looking because of the mixed parentage.

Jenny bought Soh Wah and I some coffee and we had a great time, talking about our childhood days in Convent Green Lane. Amiable Soh Wah was able to join us in our conversation. I gave Jenny a small gift - an amethyst bracelet which I bought from Barcelona, and it matched her purple floral prints!

We would be having a class reunion sometime in October in Penang, and I have invited Jenny to be my guest in Singapore. We would take a bus back to Penang together.

Amazing! It has been 4 decades since we last parted after O levels! I am eagerly looking forward to meeting the rest of our classmates!

Gan Cao

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